The Leadership Style in Health Care

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 5
Words: 1126
Reading time:
5 min
Study level: College


Leadership entails having the responsibility of giving directions to others mostly of lower cadres by authority and being accountable for the outcome. Leaders may be born or made. This means that an individual may grow up having the qualities of a leader or in other cases develop them through education or through interaction with other people (Conde, 2009, p.4). Being a leader calls for many sacrifices since one is usually responsible for the endeavor’s success or failure. Leadership is, therefore, a vital ingredient in any organization and the healthcare sector is no exception. This is because it is one of the many sectors that are characterized by many departments and activities being carried out at the same time. It is also a sensitive sector as it deals with the lives of people hence should be properly managed for efficiency.

The task-oriented leadership style in health care within the nursing profession

The nursing profession is characterized by this distinctive function of helping individuals whether well or unwell. By doing this they bestow health, recovery or a peaceful death of the patient (Roussel and Swansburg, 2006, p.174). It is because of this that the nurses have to adopt the servant leadership style in their duty. In any healthcare facility, there is always the head of each unit. The manager of the unit not only heads the unit but is also accountable for part of the medical staff. Therefore the nurse leaders’ role is to coordinate the staff to work towards the achievement of the set goals and vision of the healthcare facility. In this case, he or she acts as the coach who not only directs but is part of the team. Working closely with the other staff ensures that even the finest changes in the system are easily detected within the shortest time possible. This leads to an immediate course of action that keeps the system in progress at all times. The application of this leadership style in health care is of great benefit because of the sensitivity it has.

The other function of a leader in the healthcare facility is to manage the other non-human resources efficiently for the effective running of the facility. This is because the behavioral dimension of a task-oriented leader is one that is mainly concerned with the successful execution of the duties, efficient use of the staff and resources as well as maintenance of the operations. A task-oriented leader in the health care facility will ensure that duties are equally distributed according to specialization. This means that medical staff will be based in their areas where they have undergone training leading to excellent results as people will be doing what they know best. Such a leader also ensures that the staff is used efficiently by not overworking or underworking them. This is the reason behind off duties among the nursing staff. Lastly, is the efficient use of other resources such as money, equipment, drugs just to mention but a few. All these lie in the hands of the healthcare manager who is under their control. It is important that they are efficiently managed for the entire success of the health care facility.

The changes involved in task-oriented leadership within the nursing profession over time and how these changes have been implemented

The rapid rate of globalization has led to frequent changes occurring in each and every organization (Tomson, 2008, p.67). This, therefore, calls for all organization leaders to pick the wake-up call and initiate and motivate change within the organization. A leader who is change-oriented will be chiefly concerned with innovation, increasing development and commitment to the change. Such a leader has visionary characteristics as well as creativity in his or her work. For a long period of time, the nurses have been working as subordinates. The nurses were looked down upon as people who just had to be authorized and made to follow instructions. This was major because they received unsophisticated forms of training which made them less creative. However, things have tremendously changed as currently and nurses are in a position of applying their leadership skills to achieve the ultimate goal of quality health care (Marquis and Huston, 2003, p.78). This is because of the mere reason that for the success of any health care facility, the nurses have to be involved individually as well as collectively.

The changes in task-oriented leadership in health care came in handy as the government, health authorities and the public saw that the provision of cost-effective high-quality healthcare services was a good chance for the medical practitioners to grow professionally. The implementation was easy as it was accelerated by the improved technology. This has therefore led to reduced tasks for the health care manager as almost every task is automated. Performance contracts and appraisals have been put in place to ensure that there is less monitoring of the nurses since each nurse is gauged by their work (Higgs and Rowland, 2000, p.32).

In addition, there has been a dramatic shift in the health care administration structure from authoritative to governance such that nurses are included in making decisions for the health care facility. As long as the nurses have undergone qualified training, they are allowed to work hand in hand with the quality assurance department to ensure the implementation of quality health care.

The challenges leaders face as a leader within today’s health care organization systems

Almost all health care systems all over the world face similar leadership problems (Henderson, 2002, p. 9). The major challenges facing most health care facilities include; ameliorating the quality of patient care, reduction of waiting time as well as serving time for the patients, increasing the number of patients served while maintaining affordable costs. This, therefore, means that the demand increases whilst you have to provide better services. It is usually a tough decision for most health care facility leaders hence a big challenge for them.

Another challenge in health care systems is that of maintaining financial stability. This is very difficult especially in privatized health care institutions who unlike their counterpart government or mission hospitals do not receive aids and grants making their service costs very high.

Leaders also face the challenge of change whereby they have to be on the lookout for any new developments in the sector. After pinpointing them, their implementation is also another headache as the leader may face resistance from the adamant part of the medical staff (Studin, 1995, p.94). This creates disagreements and in serious cases, it may lead to the declivity of the health care facility.

It can be concluded that for one to be an effective leader of a health care facility he or she must possess unique characteristics mostly because its setting entails many sensitive activities.

Reference List

Conde, E. (2009). Leadership Styles. Web.

Henderson, E. (2002) Communication and Managerial Effectiveness. Nursing Management. Volume 9

Higgs, M. and Rowland, D. (2000) Building Change Leadership Capability: The Quest for Change Competence. Journal of Change Management. Volume 1 Number 2.

Marquis, B. and Huston, J. (2003) Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Nursing. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Roussel, L and Swansburg, R. (2006) Management and Leadership for nurse administrators. Web.

Studin, I. (1995) Strategic Healthcare Management. Irwin Professional Publishing.

Tomson, G et al. (2008). Leadership behavior of nurse managers in relation to job satisfaction and work climate. Web.